Tesco: beware…

Every little helps, they say. Well my £15 they unlawfully took from my account certainly helps.

But I’m doing everything I can to make sure it’s returned to its rightful owner.

The story begins late in March. A good offer on the Tesco Mobile site took me to the purchase pages. When I got to the payment spot, however, I was told the details I’d entered were invalid.

Fast forward to April 6 and a debit for £15 appears on my bank account – from Tesco Mobile.

Funny: they’d told me my payment details were invalid. Yet they somehow manage to find a way to debit the account – yet I’d not received any communication at all from them in the time between the aborted payment attempt, and the charging of my account.

Recap: No SIM card, no email acknowledgement, just an ‘invalid details’ screen and £15 out of my bank account.

Three emails on, automated responses only (Tesco passing the buck to Tesco Mobile, only for Tesco Mobile not to reply at all).

Eventually, tired of waiting for any form of electronic correspondence, I spent over an hour on an 0845 number from a mobile phone (I don’t have landline, saynoto0870 doesn’t have an active alternative and Skype doesn’t process national rate numbers) which cost me roughly the same as the initial debit. It’s a principle thing – and besides, if they’ve done it once, they’ll probably do it again unless I take action.

Here’s where the first challenge arises: They want an account number. Well, guess what? I don’t have an account. You just stole £15 from my bank, you scumbags – evidently I need no account for you to do this.

So I get promised a call back after they fee-fi-fo-fum around, passing bucks, fudging issues and generally behaving like you would expect from a helpline for the Labour Party’s Logic Team.

Only I don’t get a call back. I get an email. It contains this:

Order History
3-Apr-2010 20:38:55 : 02 Registration OK
Registration OK
3-Apr-2010 20:38:55 : 03 Credit Check Requested
Credit Check Requested, RiskScore=15
3-Apr-2010 20:39:02 : 04 Credit Check Passed
Credit Check Passsed referenceid = 1****
3-Apr-2010 20:39:02 : 05 MPNs Requested
1 MPNs Requested
3-Apr-2010 20:39:03 : 06 MPNs Reserved
1 MPNs Reserved (07547628188). Warehouse Reference Id = 100000000013675
3-Apr-2010 20:39:35 : 07 MPNs Assigned
MPNs Assigned.
3-Apr-2010 20:39:47 : 08 Terms & Conditions Accepted
Terms & Conditions Accepted
3-Apr-2010 20:39:47 : 09 Payment Requested
Payment Requested
3-Apr-2010 20:39:47 : 09A 3DS Enrolment Requested
Sending 3D Secure Enrolment Request
3-Apr-2010 20:39:49 : 09B 3DS Enrolment Received
Cardholder enrolled for 3D Secure and authentication required
3-Apr-2010 20:39:49 : 09C 3DS Issuer Auth Requested
Forwarding to Issuer Authentication page
3-Apr-2010 20:40:07 : 09D 3DS Issuer Auth Received
Issuer Authentication done
3-Apr-2010 20:40:07 : 09E 3DS Auth Requested
Sending 3DS Payer Authentication Request
3-Apr-2010 20:40:08 : 09F 3DS Auth Received
Cardholder and signature fully authenticated
3-Apr-2010 20:40:09 : 10 Payment Received
ReD Pay payment successful. ReD Pay TransactionId = ***
29-Apr-2010 15:33:38 : 14E Order Cancelled
$osh.getComments()
Products
1x£15 Tariff 1 Month Contract (500 Mins plus texts,data) £15.00
Totals
Sub-Total: £15.00
Total: £15.00

Clearly they think I’m some kind of intellectual to deduce from this list of BS some form of closure to the incident. Or maybe a robot, I’m not so sure.

So I reply and say, in the nicest possible sense, ‘WHAT THE FREAKIN’ HELL IS THIS? ARE YOU ALL RETARDS?’ Notice that is but a transcription into the language of reality what I said in the email. Since I didn’t want to spend another £14 on calls to ask the same question telephonically.

Tesco does not have a Twitter account, unlike any other company of its size anywhere in the world. This is probably because Tesco does not care.

Challenge 2: I receive another email! What joy!

It says this:

Dear

Thank you for e-mailing support@tescomobile.com

As far as I can see the payment of £15 has not been taken, if however you say it has then I will require for you to send me a copy of this information, ie: bank statement.

I look forward to your response and assisting you further.

There are so many things wrong at play here, I simply don’t know where to begin.

Dear [space]?

A wholesale and cavalier disregard for me as their opening gambit. Nice touch.

As far as I can see the payment of £15 has not been taken,

This is the bit that made me choke on my toast. I choked so hard I choked on the toast I ate four hours ago.

Let me get this right, Leahy (or whichever chimp replaced you – as a former Tesco employee I remember the days when customers counted) – you want me to prove to you that I have been charged 15 quid by your inept company for a service I never received? Do you not keep records? Do you not know when you charge people? Do you not have any accounting software?

Does the HM Revenue Service know this?

You are firing at the wrong target, suckers. I’m at best pissed, at worst, well, even more pissed. But you’re simply the worst excuse for a 21st century company I have ever had the misfortune to deal with.

I can’t wait to tell the world what a bunch of arse you are.

Comments

  1. I’ve noticed the online payment system at FGW (trains has also gone down the shute since it was subcontracted out to Trainline, and also the online payment system at O2 was more flaky than I was prepared to put up with.
    FGW have lost a customer, and I have made alternative arrangements for O2.
    Vote with your feet, people.

    As an aside, whenever you make an online payment transaction you should also immediately check your balance (preferably before and after) because many companies charge an extra £2.50 to your account on invisible accounting, and which they will retain for a week or more.

    • I never once noticed the problem with £2.50 being debited in this way. Having said that, I never imagined that a megacorp like Tesco would be guilty of such abominable service and disgusting customer ‘service’. This in the week when I have discovered incredible attention to detail by small players in the marketplace. Clearly the bigger you get, the harder you fall.

      I was told to address my complaint to Sir Terry Leahy. I’ve basically done a big dump and popped it in a Jiffy bag.

  2. I've noticed the online payment system at FGW (trains has also gone down the shute since it was subcontracted out to Trainline, and also the online payment system at O2 was more flaky than I was prepared to put up with.
    FGW have lost a customer, and I have made alternative arrangements for O2.
    Vote with your feet, people.

    As an aside, whenever you make an online payment transaction you should also immediately check your balance (preferably before and after) because many companies charge an extra £2.50 to your account on invisible accounting, and which they will retain for a week or more.

  3. wordandmouth says:

    I never once noticed the problem with £2.50 being debited in this way. Having said that, I never imagined that a megacorp like Tesco would be guilty of such abominable service and disgusting customer 'service'. This in the week when I have discovered incredible attention to detail by small players in the marketplace. Clearly the bigger you get, the harder you fall.

    I was told to address my complaint to Sir Terry Leahy. I've basically done a big dump and popped it in a Jiffy bag.

  4. Peter Mccall says:

    i worked for tesco,and i am still trying to get money owed to me from my wages.

  5. Peter Mccall says:

    i worked for tesco,and i am still trying to get money owed to me from my wages.

  6. Good god that’s scandalous! Did you work in the bakery? I believe that’s
    where the bread is these days.

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